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Common Culprits Behind HVAC Capacitor Failure

An HVAC capacitor is a small but essential part of your HVAC system. It works like a battery, storing energy that helps power your system’s motors. These motors are necessary for important functions such as cooling your home in the summer or warming it in the winter. However, capacitors are also prone to failure like other HVAC components, and this occurs due to various factors.

Common Culprits Behind HVAC Capacitor Failure

In this post, Cafco Services explores the common causes of HVAC capacitor failure, the warning signs to look out for, and the impact of this problem on your home’s comfort and efficiency.

Causes of HVAC Capacitor Failure


Just like other parts of your HVAC system, the capacitor can wear out over time. As it ages, it becomes more likely to fail, especially if it has been subjected to extreme stress or usage.

Heat Exposure

Capacitors are located in the outdoor unit of your system, where they can easily overheat. If a capacitor gets too hot, it can cause the protective oil inside to leak out, leading to failure.

Voltage Issues

If your system is subjected to a voltage that’s either too high or too low, the capacitor can become damaged, potentially leading to failure.

Poor HVAC Installation or Maintenance

When your HVAC system is not properly installed or maintained, its capacitors and other crucial components are forced to work harder. Professional installation by HVAC installation companies is key to preventing HVAC capacitor failure. A proper installation can also ensure that your system is equipped with the right capacitor.

Regular HVAC repair and maintenance can also stop capacitor failure before it happens. These preventive measures can catch small issues before they become larger, more expensive problems.

Signs of a Bad Capacitor

If your HVAC capacitor isn’t working properly, you may notice some of the following indications:

  • Unusual buzzing or humming noises

  • The fan or motor failing to run at full power

  • Frequent cycling of the motor

  • The fan’s speed varies randomly

  • Excessive heat buildup

  • Poor cooling or reduced efficiency

If your HVAC system is experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be a sign that the capacitor is failing. Enlist a professional heating and air conditioning repair service right away for assistance.

How a Failing Capacitor Can Affect Your Home

A malfunctioning capacitor can affect your HVAC unit’s performance by hindering the cooling process. Bad capacitors can also damage other system components, resulting in uncomfortable temperatures and the need for expensive repairs or replacements.

Reach Out to Us!

Are you looking for reputable heating and air conditioner maintenance companies for your HVAC needs? Cafco Services is here to help you maintain a comfortable home and avoid costly heating and cooling repairs. Call us at (513) 242-3400 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.